Greener Is Cleaner Week 3: Fresh Air for Spring
This week, learn how to get the allergy triggers and toxins out of your home
Air Invader: Mold spores
Best Defense: If you have spots of mold, clean with a bleach-based solution, then let it air dry, says the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). If you prefer not to have chlorine (bleach) in your home, the low-fume combination of borax and distilled white vinegar will also do the trick. In addition, check fans and ventilation in basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. If your house is consistently damp, invest in a de-humidifier. If your mold problem is serious, call a professional.
Air Invader: Seasonal pollen
Best Defense: Keep windows closed at night and try to filter air with an air conditioner or air purifier during high pollen counts, instructs the AAAAI. Wash or rinse Baby’s hair and body every night during allergy season, says Dr. Maria Yerovi, MD, a New Jersey-based pediatrician. “When they play outside, make sure you clean your children’s hair and body; that way they don’t have to breathe in [allergens carried in] overnight and make symptoms worse.”
Air Invader: Dust mites
Best Defense: Allergy specialists agree: Cover pillows and mattresses with dust-mite covers, wash sheets in hot water, and vacuum regularly with a HEPA-filtration system. Place Baby’s soft toys in the freezer regularly to kill off mites. If your child’s allergies are severe, replace carpeting with wood or tile flooring.
Air Invader: Fumes from household products
Best Defense: Replace your harshest cleaners, such as oven cleaners and toilet disinfectants, with eco-friendly products, easily found at the grocery store. Baking soda, lemon, and vinegar are three favorites of cleaning expert Linda Cobb, especially for child-friendly solutions. Replace old nail polish and nail polish remover with newer, less toxic brands. Keep home maintenance and workshop supplies such as paints, motor oils, and glues away from living areas if possible.
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